News in Brief

Published 9:52 am Friday, December 15, 2017

Trump reconsiders rules protecting miners from black lung

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s mining regulators are reconsidering regulations meant to protect underground miners from breathing coal and rock dust, the cause of black lung disease, and diesel exhaust, which can cause cancer.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has requested public comments on whether standards “could be improved or made more effective or less burdensome by accommodating advances in technology, innovative techniques, or less costly methods.”

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Some “requirements that could be streamlined or replaced in frequency” involve coal and rock dust . Others address diesel exhaust , which can have health impacts ranging from headaches and nausea to respiratory disease and cancer.

The Trump administration has said that many federal regulations, including pollution restrictions, have restricted the coal industry and other aspects of the economy.

Battery maker plans Ky. plant to employ hundreds

PIKEVILLE (AP) — A California-based battery maker is moving its headquarters to Kentucky and plans to build a manufacturing plant to employ hundreds of workers in economically depressed eastern Kentucky.

Gov. Matt Bevin and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers were among state and regional leaders who gathered in Pikeville to cheer the announcement by EnerBlu Inc. on Friday.

State officials say the company plans to invest $372 million and create 875 full-time jobs in eastern Kentucky with the establishment of a production facility in Pikeville.

The company will invest another $40 million and create 110 additional jobs with the relocation of its headquarters to Lexington.

The company is shifting its headquarters away from Riverside, California.

The announcement is welcome news in eastern Kentucky, which has been reeling from a steep decline in the region’s coal industry.

25 soldiers return to Fort Knox after six-month deployment

FORT KNOX (AP) — Fort Knox welcomed home 25 soldiers from southwest Asia just in time for the holidays.

The News-Enterprise reports that the red team from the 1st Theater Sustainment Command returned Wednesday, having spent the last six months working out of Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.

Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Brett Ayvazian said at a ceremony at Fort Knox that the soldiers enabled the accelerated defeat of the Islamic State group in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria.

The sustainment command ensures U.S. Central Command troops have supplies and the requisite transportation capabilities, and has been perpetually deployed since 2006. The three teams rotate deployment every six months, with the white team deploying two weeks ago.

Lawyer joining national group addressing opioid problem

FRANKFORT (AP) — A Medicaid fraud attorney in the Kentucky attorney general’s office has been appointed to a national group trying to address the opioid problem.

Attorney General Andy Beshear said in a news release Thursday that Jessica Williamson of Louisville will join the group of attorneys and investigators from 22 other states as part of the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units Opioid Working Group.

The release said the group will develop legislative proposals and investigative and prosecution techniques, coordinate with multistate consumer protection investigations and work with the federal Opioid Task Force.

Coalition offering discounts on safe rides during holidays

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky’s beverage alcohol industry is pitching in to make sure people get home safely from holiday outings.

The coalition, led by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, says it is offering $20 off safe rides.

The discount is available by entering the code SAFERIDEKY17 in the Lyft or CityScoot mobile applications. The promotion starts Friday and continues until Jan. 1 wherever those companies’ services are available, while supplies last.

The campaign — called “This one’s on us” — will be promoted to adult consumers online and in bars, liquor stores and other places where alcohol is sold.

KDA says it launched the campaign as part of its increased commitment to end impaired driving. The coalition also includes the Kentucky Guild of Brewers, Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Kentucky and Smart Start Inc.